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Aretha Franklin

Calls in Sick to Whitney's Funeral

But Performs Hours Later

2/19/2012 7:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Aretha Franklin canceled her scheduled appearance at the Whitney Houston funeral service.
Aretha Franklin canceled her scheduled appearance at Whitney Houston's funeral service in New Jersey yesterday afternoon ... but was well enough to perform at Radio City Music Hall that night.

Aretha said she had been suffering from leg spasms and wanted to rest up for her show, rather than travel for the funeral. She released a statement, saying in part, "heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne, Bobbi Kristina and the rest of the family. May God keep them all."

The Queen of Soul dedicated a portion of her show to Whitney, and also to Nick Ashford, who passed away last August. 

468 COMMENTS

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151.

Amazed    

I lost respect for some people after the death of Whitney Houston. If Artetha Franklin was too sick to pay her respects to her god-daughter at her funeral, then she had no business doing a 2 hour concert hours later, where she reportedly kicked her heels up and danced around that stage, like a person with no health issues whatsoever. That's disgusting behavior on her part to use the excuse she used for not attending the funeral and then dance around that stage hours later. I also lost any respect I had left for Bobby Brown, who couldn't see his way to just suck it up for one last attempt of respect to his ex-wife and his daughter. It was more important for him to "make a statement" about his mistreatment than it was to suck it up one final time for Whitney and show Bobby what tough stuff he is made of. Lastly, I lost respect for those who said they loved Whitney and cared about her, but failed her during her last week of her life, by not watching over her with enough care. They should have been aware that she was dangerously mixing prescription drugs and alcohol and should never have been allowed to be alone in that bathroom to take a bath. Her former bodyguard said baths were never allowed when he was watching over her, because he was aware that she liked to medicate herself with that dangerous mix, and would only allow her to take showers. And even then, he insisted she was checked up on every 10 minutes or so. These people who were close to her on the days before her death, proclaim that there was nothing wrong with Whitney, that she was fine....REALLY? Have you taken a look at the photos taken of her? The camera shows something very different. Enablers and hangers on, feeding off the celebrity...that's what they were.

944 days ago
152.

pwood    

Sounds to me like Ms Franklin is trying to use a tactful way of skipping the funeral. It's pretty clear there's some bad blood and difficult politics going on here. The public wants "saints and sinners, which is pretty childish. This may be a gospel family but it "don't take no "Ph.Ding" to know that there hasn't been anything remotely close to an angel in these 2 families for at least 4 generations.

944 days ago
153.

Sincerity    

Aretha Franklin has been dealing with her own "SERIOUS" health issues, lately, and attending the funeral of someone who had "SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR" may have been "EMOTIONALLY" overwhelming. She was already "COMMITTED" to performing in NYC and decided to include a tribute to Whitney Houston in that performance. She's known Cissy Houston and her family for decades. I'm sure she'll express her sincere, heartfelt condolences to them "privately" once the dust settles. I'm sure she's still under "doctor's care" and has to take things much slower these days.

944 days ago
154.

peoplearesilly    

Either base your decision on facts, or STFU. You do not know her reasons, nor does TMZ. You all buy into anything any tabloid posts, which shows you are not all that intelligent. Why don't you quit believing every damn thing you read and/or find out from other sources the real reason. DO YOU NOT ALL GET this is a tabloid that gets paid to post **** all day, truth or not? Idiots.

944 days ago
155.

HumanNature    

PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!!!


ARETHA FRANKLIN IS "NOT" WHITNEY HOUSTON GODMOTHER!!!!


KNOW THE "TRUTH" BEFORE YOU EVEN POST!!!


SHE IS ONLY A CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND!!!!


WHETHER THE "QUEEN" ATTENDED THE FUNERAL OR NOT IS NO ONE BUSINESS BUT HERS!!!

944 days ago
156.

MsVurda    

Maybe she has mental issues we don't know about? I have a family member who is now ONLY 67 with full all out needs to be watched 24/7 living in a nursing home dementia/alzheimer's. I'm not saying she has that, but maybe she has some kind of mental issues-bi-polar anything lol. seriously...Most of us don't know why she really didnt show up, and quite frankly it's not our business why she didn't show up, have some respect for your elders! lol. It does look not so great for Dionne to be calling her up not knowing she was not there...or maybe she forgot because of the sedatives she was on?

944 days ago
157.

tye latrelle    

This big creature who in my opinion should be named the queen of soulless has lost s fan in me. Don't agree to sing at something so personal and sacred if yo fat azz can't make it. I've heard alot of things about af within the industry and now I belive it all. She will forever be queen of burger king to me. R.I.P. WHITNEY

944 days ago
158.

Gigi    

Maybe she knew she couldn't make it through the service without breaking down, and she didn't want the world watching her private sorrow. Geez people, can we at least give her the benefit of the doubt? People are so MEAN nowadays, I swear.

944 days ago
159.

HumanNature    

NOBODY KNOWS NOTHING!!!


TMZ IS A SOURCE OF GOSSIP, INNUENDOS, SPECULATION, RUMORS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY "LIES"!!!!


THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE THAT SUPPOSE TO ATTEND WHITNEY HOUSTON FUNERAL IS HER "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" AND I'M GLAD THAT THEY WERE THERE!!!

944 days ago
160.

Reach Out Job Search    

@Amazed,

I can agree with all of your comments with the exception of Bobby Brown. Now mind you, I love New Edition but really over the years, I haven't been a Bobby Brown fan.


With Bobby, because of his relation to Bobbi Kristina...his and the Late Whitney Houston's daughter....he should have indeed been allowed to sit either directly next to their daughter or right behind her at the service.


As for the people Bobby brought to the service, they were Bobbi Kristina's half-sibings. They should have been able to make room somewhere for them in the fourth, fifth or sixth rows on the right or left hand sides of the church.


Whitney wasn't remarried and neither is Bobby, yet. With that, Bobby had every right as her ex-husband (if he desired) to sit in the front row next to Bobbi K. The family should have allowed this to occur.


Bobby did the RESPECTFUL thing, paid his respects to Whitney and left the church without incident. I appreciate his tact here and it was the right thing to do, considering the cir***stances.


Meanwhile, Aretha Franklin lied....flat-out....about why she couldn't have her TOUR BUS (that has amenities like a room/bed/etc....) driver, transport her 25 minutes from NYC to Newark, NJ to attend a "going-home service" Aretha PROMISED the Houston Family that she would perform at. If she couldn't perform, OK....then at least Aretha should have paid her respects, IN PERSON. Not by email to entertainment reporter Shaun Robinson, not by jumping, dancing and singing around at Radio City Music Hall later the same day....but, in person.


http://www.rojsnews.com

944 days ago
161.

Sweetpea    

I think it is a shame and disgrace. She was her godmother and should have been there to show support to the family. She didn't even make an attempt to let the family know she wasn't coming as Dionne announced she would now do a selection and then had to recant.

She could have flown in and flown back in time enough for her performance. NYC to New Jersey not that darn far!!! The truth of the matter is Aretha doesn't like to fly. This was extremely selfish. No one expected Whitney to die. Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all. It will even be that way with you Aretha. Sad. SMH

944 days ago
162.

SallyinChicago    

#155 Amazed: I truly believe the "godmother" title was just a PR thing. There are other singers like Roberta Flack and Chaka Khan, calling Whitney their "god daughter"...how many god mothers did she have? I never recall Aretha saying she and Whitney were the "best" friends, went shopping, eating, dining....they met at "events" not over one another's house. Aretha never babysat Aretha. So the word "godmother" was probably a loose term.
Chaka said she was her little sister....how many times did they meet for tea and cookies?

944 days ago
163.

SallyChi    

#158 - I agree. If you see her performance and the way she looks, this is not a "strong" woman....actually it reminds me of Etta James about 2-3 years ago when I saw her. She had to be helped to the stool and she sang from the stool. and Etta had to be helped off the stage. These women are not youngsters. and adding the funeral to her itinerary would have been too much....that was a 4 hour long funeral!
And I wouldn't want her to cancel the concert, because then she has to reschedule all over again.

944 days ago
164.

elm    

How could Dionne, the mistress of ceremonies, not have known Aretha wasn't there? The little interlude of her calling for Aretha and then the conspicuous non-appearance could have been just to show Aretha up for all to see as a no-show. Could there be some rivalry between those two? And it's been said that Dionne perhaps isn't the gentlest soul either. She and Cissy might have been taking the perceived Aretha slight personally, and I suppose they might be justified. The whole final "private" funeral shebang was in keeping with the general melodramatic tenor of this entire sad saga of Whitney's Diva-esque demise.

944 days ago
165.

HumanNature    

ARETHA FRANKLIN WILL ALWAYS BE THE "QUEEN" OF SOUL!!!!!


WHO CARE THAT YOU DON'T LIKE HER, THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT DO!!!!


THE "QUEEN" CAN STILL SING AND IS NOT ON DRUGS!!!

944 days ago
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